Hunua Falls drowning victim named

Lilatoni's death has now been referred to the coroner
Lilatoni's death has now been referred to the coroner

Police have named the teenage boy whose body was recovered from Hunua Falls, south of Auckland, last night.

Lilatoni Vetemotu, 13, is believed to have drowned after he got into trouble swimming at the popular waterfall with extended family yesterday afternoon.

Another family member tried to save the boy, but couldn't rescue him.

Members of the police dive squad recovered the body just after 10:30pm.

Auckland Council says it would prefer people did not swim at the falls, but closing the dangerous swimming hole to the public isn't feasible.

Lilatoni's school, Tuakau College, today issued a statement about the death on its Facebook page.

"Students will be well supported at school in the coming days."

The school's guidance counsellor will be leading the school's support.

Lilatoni's death has now been referred to the coroner.

It is the second drowning in just over a week at Hunua Falls, and Auckland Council spokesman Mace Ward says people need to be careful.

"It is slippery and it drops off very quickly, so we'd rather people didn't swim at all in the falls," he says.

"Not to say they shouldn't have an enjoyable day, but we would recommend not swimming in the falls themselves, given the risks."

Ten days ago, a 17-year-old boy drowned at the falls and there was also a near-drowning at the same spot in February.